Locality and stratigraphy

Soom map1The Soom Shale Member is a 10-15 m thick argillaceous unit within the 3000 m of arenites that make up the Cambrian-Silurian Table Mountain Group of the south-western Cape Province, South Africa.  It is of latest Ordovician (Ashgill) age, and comprises thinly laminated siltstones and mudstones that are black when fresh, but weather to a pale grey colour.  The shale crops out as a recessive level throughout the Cedarberg Mountains, but is highly deformed in the region east of Cape Town.  To the north of Cape Town, especially in the area around Clanwilliam, several localities expose relatively undeformed Soom Shale, and it is these that have yielded exceptionally preserved fossils

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